Jared Allen made a heck of a fun at Michael Strahan’s single-season record for sacks in the season finale.
The Minnesota Vikings defensive end bullied Chicago Bears left tackle J’Marcus Webb for 2 ½ quarters and 3 ½ sacks before since ousted offensive coordinator Mike Martz adjusted. The Bears finally started giving Webb some help against Allen and Strahan’s record (which came with help from Brett Favre) was safe. Allen finished the season with 22 sacks, still a remarkable year.
Consider the Vikings were so bad this past season that they rarely faced teams needing to ditch the run in the second half in order to catch up. It’s easier to pile up sack statistics when pass rushers are facing offenses that are playing from behind.
What does the future hold? Well, Allen is thinking big. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Allen believes the record is in sight.
“Before you get that close, you’re not really sure if it’s attainable,” Allen said, per Rapoport. “You think it is, because you always think if someone did it, I could do it. But being right there and actually leaving some stuff on the field — they took the one away in Green Bay, they gave it a team sack — and there were a couple in my arms that I didn’t get it. Or the ones that I was that close. The ones at the end of the year… It was kinda like, ‘Ah, bummed out. Now I’m 23 away again, versus one away.’ But when you start working out again, it’s motivation. How can I push myself just a little further?”
Allen said conditioning is the key to make a run at the record. What is possible in a 16-game season?
“I think 25,” Allen said. “I thinks someone will eventually get it. Look at some of the athletes, the Demarcus Wares of the league and the matchups he creates as a 3-4 guy on a running back or something. I think it’s possible. Then again, no one’s ever had two 20-sack seasons in their career in the history of the NFL. So, someone’s gotta do that first. Like I said, I believe 25 is a number that will get hit one year. But when, I don’t know?”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune